Understanding the condition called ectropion

If you are noticing the lower eyelid drooping outward and causing your eyes to appear tired and red, you may be diagnosed with a condition called ectropion. Ectropion is the medical term that refers to the outward turning or malposition of the lower eyelid. Because of the malposition of the lower eyelid, tears from the eye cannot be properly removed to the tear duct and it can cause not only an unsightly appearance to the lower eye, but excessive tearing.

What types of ectropion are seen by eye doctors at Southside Eye Care?

The doctors at our practice will often categorize ectropion into three different types:

  • Involutional – occurs due to relaxation of tissues around the eye often associated with aging
  • Cicatricial – ectropion resulting from a shortage of eyelid skin from surgery, infections, or radiation
  • Paralytic – occurs due to paralysis of the muscles that control facial expression

What can be done for this condition?

In most cases, the team at Southside Eye Care will highly recommend the benefits of surgical intervention to correct ectropion. This is done to tighten the lower eyelid and help it attach into its normal anatomic positioning when the condition is involutional. Cicatricial ectropion is often corrected with skin grafting, while paralytic ectropion might involve the insertion of a weight into the upper eyelid to allow the patient to control the close the eye.

What can be done to avoid this condition?

There is really not a lot adults can do to avoid the development of this condition, as it can just naturally occur with aging and changes to the facial muscles or eye due to paralysis or previous surgeries. However, there is no need to be embarrassed by the condition as there are solutions to help.

Are you worried that you may have ectropion?

It is always a great idea to connect with a doctor when there are changes in your vision or eye health. Chesapeake, VA area patients are welcome to contact Southside Eye Care to discuss this and other conditions that can occur. Call (757) 484-0101 to request a consultation visit with one of our doctors at 3206 Churchland Boulevard.


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